Apr 10, 2024

Exclusively Pumping? We Asked Moms To Share the Must

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Whether you nurse or pump, you’re still breastfeeding, and these go-to items can help take some of the stress out of that journey.

A lot of times, the media—and society at large—make breastfeeding seem like an easy process that anyone can do. However, the truth can be far different from that, but not having that conversation often makes a lot of parents feel isolated when they experience hiccups when nursing. While I didn’t exclusively pump, breastfeeding did have a few gotchas in store for me. From difficulty latching on one side to mastitis and struggling to keep my supply up once we began introducing solids, my journey breastfeeding my daughter took several twists and turns.

Previously, I’ve written about the best breastfeeding must-haves from real moms. While I was sourcing tips for that article, a common refrain I saw was that women who exclusively pumped often felt left out of the breastfeeding conversation. If you exclusively (or primarily) pump because you don’t want to nurse, your work schedule makes it impossible to do so, your baby has latching issues, or otherwise, you’re still breastfeeding and your experience is not less relevant than the parent who nursed.

You might also find that the items that are essential to nursing moms aren’t that helpful to your pumping journey. So, I went back to some of the breastfeeding moms I spoke to before, asking them to share their favorite items they used when exclusively or primarily pumping.


“I exclusively pumped for 7 months for my son, Bob. He will be one next week. I loved a bunch of products, but the most impactful for me were the silicone pump inserts—the flanges. They helped increase my output and made pumping so much more comfortable for me!”

-Katy Joyce, parent of 1

To buy: Maymom Flange Inserts $15;


“For me, it is the new school mobile breast pumps. I’ve pumped everywhere with them: cabs, Ubers, trains, subways, planes, in museums, at restaurants, at a wedding, etc.”

-Stephanie Cain Venkatraman, parent of 2

To buy: Willow 3.0 Wearable Double Electric Breast Pump $550;


“I finished up exclusively pumping recently. The Ceres Chill made it so much easier to pump on the go. It was perfect for Disney. I took mine twice!”

-Elyse Moody, parent of 1

To buy: Ceres Chill Breastmilk Storage from $72;


“In those days before I'd figured out that supplementing with formula didn't mean I'd be a failure, I needed any bit of comfort I could get. I'm so grateful that we found a way to squeeze this inexpensive glider into our tiny apartment. I could nurse in it comfortably, and I could pump there, late at night, watching the most brainless TV shows on my tablet.”

-Sabrina Rojas Weiss, parent of 1

To buy: Storkcraft Premium Hoop Glider and Ottoman $160 (was $230); and

The Bodily

“Bodily’s Do Anything Bra was a lifesaver for me. I could use dual pumps, it was hands-free, and it’s incredibly comfortable as an everyday bra, too.”

-Elyse Moody, parent of 1

To buy: The Do Anything Bra from $58;

Kindred Bravely

“I'm a first-time mom and my favorite product is my Kindred Bravely Pumping Bra. It lets me stay hands-free, holds the pumps on effectively, and is super comfortable. It's not tight and the fabric is super breathable. I wear it all day long and only take it off to sleep because it's soft and even flattering underneath my shirts.”

-Jenny Glantz, parent of 1

To buy: Kindred Bravely Sublime Bamboo Hands-Free Pumping Lounge & Sleep Bra $46;


“My number one go-to was boob pads. Didn’t care what they were or which brand, just so long as I wasn’t leaking through my bra and shirt from one boob while the other was ‘in use’...I also had some that had a waterproof fabric on one side and a super also great for daily (changing regularly) wear.”

-Jennifer Tomascak, parent of 1

To buy: Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads from $8; and


“I would say Ziploc freezer bags to store your parts in the freezer between sessions so you cut down on the time spent cleaning parts. The residual milk doesn’t spoil when frozen, giving Mama some minutes back on her day.”

-Heather O’Hara, parent of 2

To buy: Ziploc Freezer Gallon Bags from $5;


“I’m exclusively pumping my now 8-month-old and my biggest tip for overproducers like myself? A deep freezer so you don’t waste any milk. To get the most out of your storage space, use breast milk storage bags that lay flat for easy freezing.”

-Kimberly Devitt Brown, parent of 1

To buy: Frigidaire 5.0 Cubic Feet Chest Freezer $142 (was $197);

Moms Reveal the Breastfeeding Essentials They Can’t Live Without

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Parents Reveal the Diaper Bag Essentials They Can’t Live Without

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